Wednesday, February 22, 2017



When the hands of the clock
are flipping you off,
its face a twisted smile,
and escape to the bottle
has drowned the words
that once intoxicated you.

When lust is merely a metaphor,
love a long distance call
and your voice has turned
to autumn leaves
that crackle under foot.

That is when the night
becomes only darkness
and the call of that bottle
fills the spaces in between
the sunlight.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Guilt You Would Not Understand

A Guilt You Would Not Understand

A knock on the door
that echoed in
the unreachable distance.
The last indelible image
of my love as you faded
in the darkness
of a back bedroom.

The foreboding
that swarmed me
ignored, in favor of
an agenda long forgotten.
The immediacy of the day
superseding the years
of sacrifice in my favor.

The hours spent
playing catch in the absence
of a grandfather or father
not otherwise engaged.
You were love and acceptance
in my eyes and when you passed
I was passive and afraid.

Betrayed by a single weak vessel
in that brain that I so admired,
you lay helpless, a state
that was an anathema
to everything I knew you to be.

Forgive me
for not kicking
that goddamn door down
and carrying you to the help
that might have saved you
and all that you were to me.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The End of Fifty Two

The End of Fifty Two

The Tuesday sun
set and carried with it,
the lies of New York and
a thousand dreams.

The broken pieces fell
together in the bars
and bedrooms of the city:
Glue is another fairytale.

I let the sorrow wash
over me like fine whiskey
across my tongue and stared
out the window at the passing city.

The train car couplers creaked
and groaned in a sad staccato.
A preview of the death rattle
waiting in the distance.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Mechanical Perturbation

Mechanical Perturbation

From three thousand miles away
a heartbeat is difficult to detect.
The insulation of distance mutes
the sound of sinus rhythms as they fade.

My first car had a bad fuel pump,
the diaphragm membrane developed
a hole and the car began to lose power.
As the hole grew, the engine got weaker
until one day it just stopped.

The day you gave me my first “A”
I think my heart skipped a beat.
The wall of doubt had its first crack
and you’d handed me the hammer.

A new fuel pump for a 1963 VW Bus
is not a stock item so I had to wait
almost a week for the part to arrive.
I used the extra time to change
the oil and adjust the valves.

The first heart transplant took place
in 1964. For lack of a suitable donor
they used a chimpanzee heart;
the patient lived for a little over an hour.

If they can't find a donor, your heart
may stop before I hear it beat again.
Cedars-Sinai is apparently out of stock,
and chimp hearts are no longer used.
I’m not sure how to fill the wait time.

I got rid of the VW bus years ago,
replacement fuel pump and all.
The wall is mostly rubble now;
all I’m left with is your hammer,
and three thousand miles of silence.

(Re-posted from Notes & Grace Notes)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Times Square Lament

Times Square Lament

The heavy days of New York summer
sit and wait with me on the train platform
and remind me how far I am from you.

Here at the confluence of Broadway,
Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street;
the eastern terminus of the Lincoln Highway,
I stand and strain my eyes westward in vain.

My picture memory has expired
with time -- with distance,
and you continue to fall away;
another sun below my horizon.

You said my dalliances were unforgiveable,
and you never understood my need for time
apart, though I always came back to you.

I tried to call and confess my love
but the buskers drum and taxi traffic beat
made it near impossible for me to hear.

I don’t belong here amongst the bad clichés,
Bubba Gump and “I Love NY” t-shirts.
I haven’t slept in almost two years
and neon lights can’t replace the sun.

This city is a cheap whore
and Times Square is where she tricks
the gullible as they climb off the bus.

Moriarty’s ghost haunts me
and beckons me back to the road;
back to your long golden embrace.

Please forgive me my love
and help me find my way back
across the broken heartland between us
and back home to you.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Label Whore

Label Whore


Please feel free to leave comments as feedback is always welcome; good and bad.

Thank you


Wednesday, February 4, 2015



You are not a choreographer but you make eyes dance across pages; draw beautiful pictures with your words. They sing to their readers and perform amazing verbal plays. You don’t fold papers but you bend phrases into magical birds of flight. Your whisper is soft assonance, your cry, crafted consonance. You twist steel metaphors into wild animals and weave words like a Panama hat maker. You don’t cook but you tantalize the pallets of those starving for creativity and culture. You remove dead literary appendages with buzz saw tenacity and sew disparate pieces into a fine tapestry. You don’t carve ice; you chip away bits of frozen heart and color the leaves of fall with artisan adjectives. You are languid and lithe in a gown of Longfellow with Langston Hu(gh)es. You do not make wine or brew beer but we drink in your elixir of verse and become intoxicated on the bouquet and effervescence. You create images that stick and emotions that dissolve sweet and savory on the tongue. You are a poet!


Monday, January 5, 2015

From the Brooklyn Side

From the Brooklyn Side

The dusk climbed behind me
as motorists and pedestrians
moved steadily west and east
across the Williamsburg Bridge.
They traversed the grey steel,
above the flood and ebb-tides,
in a ritual as old as the city.

Below, the East River roiled;
a rough mix from the tail waters
of Harlem and the Bronx Kill.

From the apex of the bridge
I watched the sun burn down
the Manhattan skyline and
slowly drown in the Hudson.
I recalled the Whitman poem
and felt the ties between us.  

In the distance, the gray walls
of granite and glass loomed;
today and a hundred years hence


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Lost Forever

Lost Forever

At sunrise
God breathes
fire and smoke
into azure mourning,
as the demiurge groans
back into motion.

Last night
the world stopped,
dreams and motivations
became paper icons
engulfed in pyre flashes;
Ashes to ashes

As light slowly
pries loose the last
fingers of night
clinging to the landscape,
the shine of innocence
appears tarnished and tired.

Last night
a hero became mortal
human, uncoiled,
glint of his armor
dulled with rust;
dust to dust

The midday sun
hangs, half mast
in the horizon,
weakly illuminating
yet another void,
a diminished world.

Last night
God blinked,
in that omnisecond,
The words fell silent
inspiration stolen;

(Excerpt from "Another Hotel Room")

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday Music Break ~ In Color by Jamey Johnson

In Color

I said, grandpa what’s this picture here
Its all black and white, it ain’t real clear
Is that you there? He said yeah, I was 11

Times were tough back in '35
That’s me and uncle Joe just tryin’ to survive
A cotton farm in a great depression

If it looks like we were scared to death
Like a couple of kids just tryin to save each other
You should've seen it in color

Oh, and this one here was taken over seas
In the middle of hell in 1943
In the winter time you can almost see my breath

That was my tail gunner ole Johnny Magee
He was a high school teacher from New Orleans
And he had my back right through the day we left

If it looks like we were scared to death
Like a couple of kids just tryin to save each other
You should've seen it in color

A picture's worth a thousand words
But you cant see what those shades of gray keep covered
You should've seen it in color

This one is my favorite one
This is me and grandma in the summer sun
All dressed up, the day we said our vows

You can't tell it here but it was hot that June
And that rose was red and her eyes were blue
And just look at that smile, I was so proud
That’s the story of my life right there in black and white

And if it looks like we were scared to death
Like a couple of kids just tryin to save each other
You should've seen it in color

A pictures worth a thousand words
But you can’t see what those shades of gray keep covered
You should have seen it in color
You should have seen it in color

Yeah, a pictures worth a thousand words
But you can’t see what those shades of gray keep covered

You should have seen it in color